D.he airlift for evacuation from Afghanistan was suspended last night. The twenty-year military service of western states is ended. But that also means that many hope to escape the rule of the Taliban and their possible revenge on those who have worked with Western forces will also die out for many. The goals of the West, in particular the promotion of the right to education and the strengthening of equal rights for women, are also the goals of many Afghan women, who are now being forced to stay behind. “We have to start from scratch,” said Zarifa Ghafari, one of the first female mayors of Afghanistan, tearfully at yesterday’s press conference of the newly founded initiative “Defend Afghan Women’s Rights”, organized by the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy and the German-Iraqi NGO HÁWAR .help was launched.
Ghafari reports on her homeland, from which the achievements of two decades are now in danger of being torn away again. She herself survived several assassination attempts by the Taliban and made it on one of the evacuation flights to Germany. Many Afghan women have not succeeded in this, even though they too – journalists, lawyers or activists – risk their lives in order to uphold human rights. Ghafari reports that the targeted killings of dissidents by the Taliban are only just beginning.
Why did the evacuation come so late?
But who bears the political responsibility for these people? “Germany’s responsibility for the Afghan people does not end with the end of the Bundeswehr mission – it is only just beginning,” says Düzen Tekkal, co-founder of “Defend Afghan Women’s Rights”. The initiative is in close contact with local women’s rights organizations and supports them through collected donations, some of them also helping them to flee. Tekkal is demanding a committee of inquiry from the federal government to clarify why the evacuation was so late and why it was uncontrolled. The failure of the West should also be dealt with: “We have to look very carefully what is currently going on there, but also what wrong decisions have been made by the NATO countries there,” says Tekkal.
For Afghan women, however, the situation on the ground is getting worse. Tekkal reports on teachers who – if they are allowed to teach at all – are constantly observed by the Taliban in the school. A critical word has consequences, in the worst case death. The initiative also warns of the dwindling time window in which Afghanistan remains in the focus of the global public. “It feels like Afghanistan is being ticked off the map,” says Marjan Haidar of the Global Movement for Peace in Afghanistan. A weak hope is the networking via social media in order to communicate reasonably protected from the ruling Taliban. In the future, ways would have to be found to give the voices of Afghan women a platform. Meanwhile, Zarifa Ghafari also wants to continue fighting for the rights of her allies in Afghanistan from Germany. “What gives me hope is that my generation will never give up. Even if it will be so difficult for them to be heard in this country. The only thing we can do is stand by the side of the Afghan people. “